Letter: We have the technology to foil stamp washers, says Royal Mail

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The Independent Online
THE ROYAL Mail uses the most modern sorting technology in the world and you can be assured that stamps where attempts have been made to "wash off" the postmarks are very quickly and easily detected.

The business has been detecting such frauds for more than a century and we are confident this is a crime that is in decline. Any losses are certainly far below the figure claimed in your story "Millions lost in massive stamp fraud" (18 October).

The Royal Mail employs a wide variety of security measures to prevent stamp fraud. A key safeguard is a special phosphorous marking on each stamp. "Washing" stamps to remove the postmark affects the phosphor and even though a "washed" stamp may, to the naked eye, look as though it has not been franked, in practice tampered stamps with missing or damaged phosphorous markings are detected by the sophisticated technology now used to automatically read mail.

TONY MARSH

Post Office Security and Investigation Services

Croydon

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